Expert panel to speak March 22 on sex trafficking at Sierra College

By: Mackenzie Myers, Reporter
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Know and Go:

What: Cesar E. Chavez Higher Education Speaker Series - Sex, Slavery and Extortion

Where: Dietrich Theatre, Sierra College, 5100 Sierra College Boulevard, Rocklin

When: 12:30 to 2 p.m. March 22

Admission: Free and open to the public, $3 parking


Whether assisting survivors, prosecuting criminals, passing policies or living through sex trafficking first hand, five experts will speak on various facets of the issue March 22 at Sierra College.

The panel comprises Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, Stand Up Placer coordinator Kristina Darte, Los Angeles Police Lieutenant Marc Evans, lawyer Elizabeth Kim and survivor Carissa Phelps.

According to the college’s website, Baker represents California’s 16th district and has introduced five bills related to abuse and violent crime. Evans works on the Los Angeles Police Department’s human trafficking task force. Kim lectures statewide on topics such as constitutional rights, police brutality and activism. Phelps, also an attorney, has written a book about her own experience living on the streets. 

The college’s website said the panel constitutes the eighth annual Cesar E. Chavez Higher Education Speaker Series. With a different topic each year, the series honors Chavez, who was committed to social justice and cultural advancement especially as it related to the Chicano Movement. 

According to the college’s website, past series have addressed a broad range of topics, including capital punishment, undocumented workers, Mexican American women of World War II and talks between Israel and Palestine.

Reyes Ortega, panel coordinator and Sierra College history professor, said sex trafficking was chosen for this year’s series because of how intensely it affects all groups of people.

“The [series] provides a platform to minimize complacency by maximizing awareness and action,” he said.